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Even before the chldren came to the door. Teodor could sense something was wrong. He pawed at the door. A moment later the door opened. One of the older girls petted Amanda's head as they passed.
Teodor smelled fear. It wasn't the same fear that he had smelt the night the old woman had attacked. He shook his head. Old woman was not a good description, hag fit her better.
As Amanda and him entered the old cafeteria, he noticed that the younger children had made their beds in the middle of the room. The older children were off to one side, huddled in a circle. Teodor padded over to Gunner. He laid down beside him. It gave him a great view of the conversation.
“Are you sure none of you saw Jazz today?” Gunner asked.
A girl in a pink shirt and snarled ponytails bit her nails. “I did.”
“Where?” Gunner asked.
“Over by the river,” she said. “Talking to those other kids.”
“The River Rats?"
The girl nodded. “I asked him later why'd he go over there. He said they had some jobs for him.”
Teodor watched Gunner's face. His face went still as he clenched his jaw. “We have nothing to do with those kids. If Jazz comes back, he will have to apologize.”
“What if they do have jobs for us?” The girl asked.
Tache took in a sharp breath. “They work for some nasty people.”
Gunner stared at the girl. “The last girl that went over to them for a job, ended up in a movie. Not a movie you would want to show your friends.”
A black haired girl nodded. “She killed herself afterwards.”
The blond girl suddenly found her feet interesting. Gunner reached over and scratched behind Teodor's ears.
“Anyone seen the Woman?” he whispered.
All of the children in the circle shook their heads. Gunner looked at Teodor. “I think the dogs help,” he said. “But if they are really wolves. We can't tame them.”
The black haired girl spoke. “I heard that she took a boy in Konakove, two nights ago. Reached right in to where he was staying and pulled him out.”
“For real?” Tashe asked.
She nodded. “They only found some blood.”
Gunner stopped scratching Teodor's head and reached behind him to pull out the baseball bat. “We need to find more weapons. In case she comes back.”
“I told you I could get a gun,” A red headed boy said.
“No guns,” Gunner said. “The River Rat's use those and we are better then them.”
“Besides,” Tashe said. “The only one of us that got away from her was Trucker. And he knocked a table into her.”
Gunner whistled. “Trucker, come here!”
Trucker had been playing with Amanda. He stood up and walked over to the circle. Gunner patted the floor beside him. Trucker sat down, giving Teodor a strange look as he did so.
“What happened that night the Woman chased you?” Gunner asked.
“She ripped my jacket,” Trucker said. “I ran through an outdoor cafe. Knocked over a table as I ran. She screamed and stopped chasing me.”
“What was on the table?” Gunner asked.
Trucker shrugged. “I'm not sure, Ketchup bottle, mustard, salt and pepper shakers.”
“Maybe she doesn't like mustard,” the red headed boy said.
“Wooden bats do shit,” Gunner said. He tapped his metal bat in his other hand a few times. “Joe had a wooden bat.”
Trucker shrugged. “The table was metal.”
Gunner thought for a long time. He stood up. “Alright, tomorrow we find as many weapons we can get our hands on that are metal.”
“A gun's metal,” The red head said.
Teodor padded over to Amanda. She let some of the younger girls brush her hair. Teodor nudged her flank. Amanda rolled on to her feet. She stood up and shook out her fur. The girls moaned.
Trucker ran over to them with the can of dog food. Teodor tried not to gag. Amanda ate it without an issue. Teodor sniffed the food. When I left my family and had to pretend to be a dog those years, I got so sick of this, he thought.
Teodor lifted his head. Trucker sat on the floor watching them. He gave Teodor a smile. Teodor padded over to him and laid on the floor. Trucker petted Teodor.
Amanda lifted her head, licking her lips. Teodor whined and they went outside. They stayed in their wolf forms until they made it back to where they kept their clothing. A light snow fell. Amanda changed quickly, she shivered as she dressed.
Teodor took his time. He heard sounds in the woods that were not normal. Amanda sat on a log and watched him slowly dress.
“What is it?” She asked.
“Just some noises.” Teodor whispered.
Amanda nodded. “I heard them too.” Her eyes went wide. “Do you think it that woman?”
Teodor shook his head. “No, you can feel that hag in your bones, and I don't.”
He put his shirt back on. Now Teodor recognized the sounds. Someone was trying to stand still, but couldn't. Teodor sniffed the air. All he could smell were the children.
Teodor finished dressing. He stood up and glanced back at the old building. He saw a shadow move. It was the size of one of the children. Teodor moved his head, to try to get a better look. He saw Trucker.